July 18, 2019 / 10:24 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Malaysia falls, others trade in tight range

    * Singapore shares snap two sessions of gains
    * Malaysia falls for the third straight session

    By Soumyajit Saha
    July 18 (Reuters) - Malaysian shares fell for the third
straight session on Thursday to close at their lowest in a
month, while most other Southeast Asian stock markets were
subdued as renewed Sino-U.S. trade concerns weighed on risk
sentiment in the region.
    The Wall Street Journal reported that the trade talks
between the United States and China had halted awaiting
Washington deciding how much trading leeway it would provide
Huawei. 
    "Mistaking U.S.-China risks for a single-dimensional trade
spat led to a miscalculation of far deeper and more disperse
multi-dimensional risks," Mizuho Bank said in a note to clients,
 adding that "direct but hard-to-predict U.S. trade action
remains a real and present danger."
    The Malaysian index dropped 0.5% and led losses in
the region. Index heavyweight Petronas Chemicals Group
ended at its lowest level since Dec. 26, 2017 and dominated the
losses on the benchmark.  
    Meanwhile stocks in the trade-sensitive Singapore
closed lower, dragged by the real estate sector. 
    CapitaLand Ltd slipped 1.9%, while Hongkong Land
Holdings fell 1.2%.
    However, Philippines and Indonesian indexes
advanced on bets of dovish action from their central banks.
    Financials and telecommunications stocks led gains in the
Philippine index. 
    Macro indicators were pointing at an encouraging
second-quarter earnings show, said Miguel Ong, a research
analyst with AP Securities, Manila.
    Lenders were also benefiting from hopes of loser monetary
policy coming from the central bank, Miguel added. 
    The local daily Philippine Star on Monday had quoted here
 Governor Benjamin Diokno as saying that the Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas had greater freedom to further ease monetary policy
going ahead.
    Indonesian shares ticked up, helped by gains in resource and
consumer stocks. 
    Earlier in the day, Indonesia's central bank cut its
benchmark rate for the first time in nearly two years and opened
the door to further easing to help a slowing economy.

    "The move reflects pipeline BI's (Bank of Indonesia's)
desire to boost growth and the governor signalled that further
easing is in the pipeline," ANZ Research said in a note.  
            
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3361.05   3364.87         -0.11
 Bangkok                1723.44   1718.85         0.27
 Manila                 8258.05   8233.48         0.30
 Jakarta                6403.294  6394.609        0.14
 Kuala Lumpur           1648.93   1657.53         -0.52
 Ho Chi Minh            976.05    982.57          -0.66
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3361.05   3068.76         9.52
 Bangkok                1723.44   1563.88         10.20
 Manila                 8258.05   7,466.02        10.61
 Jakarta                6403.294  6,194.50        3.37
 Kuala Lumpur           1648.93   1690.58         -2.46
 Ho Chi Minh            976.05    892.54          9.36
 
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
  
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